Author: worthwritingfor PM
Ali's trying to convince everyone she's not anorexic, and failing. Xavier lights a cigarette whenever he thinks of his dad, thus damaging his health. She gave him a ride home. That was only the beginning. HIATUS.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Chapters: 11 - Words: 22,723 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 02-05-13 - Published: 11-02-12 - id: 3070839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Where are we going?"
We had been driving for a good twenty minutes already, and everything around me was unfamiliar. We had gone in the opposite direction of our houses, and now we were just surrounded by trees on an empty dirt road.
Xavier smirked, glancing at me. "Somewhere."
I frowned. "That's comforting."
We drove for another ten minutes before Xavier turned abruptly onto a trail in the middle of the trees. I yelped and grabbed onto the armrest.
"Calm down," Xavier said, looking amused.
"I don't have to be calm," I said. "This is my car. You're probably going to pop a tire or something!"
We continued down the trail, branches from trees scraping against my car. I grinded my teeth together and glared at the driver, who didn't seem to notice.
We finally came into a clearing with a view of a lake. The car skidded to a stop. Xavier turned off the engine, leaning back in his seat. His gaze slid to me. I met it with irritated eyes.
"I bet the paint's chipped," I said.
He smiled. "It's not chipped."
"Sure." He thought for a moment. "Okay, let's see. If you win, I will never force you to eat anything ever again."
I rolled my eyes, giving a short laugh. "And if you win?"
His eyes shone with a certain light that I couldn't place. "You owe me a kiss."
My eyes widened considerably. I opened my mouth to respond, but nothing came out. Xavier laughed.
"I'm just kidding!" he said. "If I win you have to drive me to school for the rest of the school year. Deal?"
It took me a moment to process his words. I nodded and then we both got out of the car.
We inspected the car half-heartedly, and Xavier thought that kicking at the tires would somehow help find any scratches. Finding none, I sighed and sat on the hood of my car.
"Do I get a kiss now?" Xavier asked.
I turned to see him smirking. I rolled my eyes, but I couldn't help the blush that rushed to my cheeks. I looked away.
"The deal was me driving you to school," I said. "Not a kiss."
I felt him slide onto the car next to me. He lay back on the windshield. "Ah, I'm just messing with you, Alison." He paused. "Unless you actually want a kiss."
I crossed my legs and looked out at the lake. I always loved swimming, but it was entirely too cold for that now.
I heard a click and glanced down at Xavier to see him lighting a cigarette. I waved the smoke away from me and turned back to the lake once again.
"So," Xavier said. "What was Abi going off about earlier?"
I grimaced in remembrance, and sudden anger coursed through me. I glanced at Xavier. His eyes were on me, but he looked so calm, just lying there, smoking.
"Can I have one of those?" I asked, convincing myself that it wasn't a bad idea at all.
"What?" Xavier looked at his cigarette and then back up at me. He sat up and raised his eyebrows at me. "You want a cigarette?"
I nodded before my mouth could form a decent response.
"Do you… Do you know how?" Xavier asked.
I shrugged. He sighed and took one out of the small package and handed it to me. He instructed me to put it in my mouth and I did so, watching him as he put one of his hands around the end of it, blocking it from the wind. He used his other hand to flick on his lighter and light the end of cigarette.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing.
"Alison? Wait, don't –"
Too late. I had already breathed in. And now I was choking.
Strong arms wrapped around me and rubbed my back, taking the cigarette from my hand. I coughed out whatever smoke I had gotten in my lungs, and the whole time, I could only call myself stupid.
"Idiot," Xavier murmured against me. "Impulsive idiot."
I let out a pained laugh.
I eventually stopped choking. I laid my head on Xavier's shoulder, breathing in fresh hair. I looked up at Xavier and stared at him a while before leaning back and shoving him hard in the shoulder.
"Ow!" he said, nearly falling of the car. He rubbed his shoulder. "What'd you do that for?"
"Why'd you let me do that?" I exclaimed, referring to the smoking.
"Because you wanted to!" he retorted, smiling a little.
I glared at him disbelievingly. "Never – again."
He moved over closer to me and slung an arm around my shoulders. "I agree," he said quietly.
I was silent.
For a while we just sat there, staring out at the lake. I felt strangely…comfortable with Xavier so close. It wasn't awkward, like it probably should've been.
"Is it weird that I like this?" I blurted without thinking.
"Like what?" Xavier asked, turning to look at me.
I couldn't meet his eye. "Nothing."
He paused, so I had a feeling he was raising an eyebrow.
"Let's talk," I said, trying to change the subject.
"Why I'm always checking the mail."
He was silent. "Go on."
I took a deep breath. I'd explained this to plenty of people before, but none were quite as curious as Xavier. I actually about cared what he thought of it.
"My parents," I started, "never intended to have children. They had planned to travel the world together and photograph whatever they saw. But then Ian came along and those dreams were long gone. I was born a few years later, and that made things a little more impossible."
I bit my lip. I had cried every time I told this story, but I wasn't going to now. Not in front of Xavier.
"Then what?" Xavier asked softly.
"Well, Ian and I grew up," I continued. "When he was fourteen, I was seven. We were good by ourselves so our parents started thinking: What if they just left us with our aunt while they traveled the world like they had originally planned?"
I clenched my fists.
"They went through with that plan. They wrote to us while we were still kids, but we missed them, you know? It's hard growing up without parents around all that often. An aunt just isn't enough when you know you're mom and dad are out there somewhere, thinking about anything but you."
Xavier pulled me toward him a little more. I didn't dare look up to see his expression.
I went on.
"As Ian and I got older, they letters got shorter until they'd hardly send anything. They were like strangers. Of course, they visited for most of the holidays, but it just wasn't the same.
"When Ian was old enough, he moved out of the house and took me with him. Our aunt understood perfectly. I think she was tired of us.
"We ended up living where we do now. Ian got a job and I attended the school. It's been the same ever since."
I let that sink in. I was a little scared of what Xavier would think. I mean, I shouldn't be, but I could help it.
He didn't speak.
I turned to look up at him I was surprised to see him staring at me. His expression was thoughtful and concerned. I flushed but kept my eyes on his.
"Xavier?" I said carefully.
"You gonna say something?"
That shook him out of his daze. He cleared his throat and averted his eyes.
"When did they last send a letter?" he asked.
I swallowed a lump in my throat. "Saturday."
His voice was soft. "And what did it say?"
I bit my lip. "They won't be home for Thanksgiving. Or Christmas."
He sighed. I was completely still, knowing that if I moved I'd start bawling.
"I'm sorry, Alison."
I shook my head and I was surprised when I stayed calm. "Don't be." I attempted a smile. "I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
Instead of responding to me, he slid off the hood of the car and motioned for me to follow. I did so and as soon as my feet touched the ground, he grabbed my hand and dragged me toward the lake.
"Xavier!" I shouted, trying to skid to a stop. He was stronger than me and just kept pulling. "What are you do – Xavier! I am not getting in the water!"
He laughed and stopped at the lake shore. I tugged my hand out of his grasp, backing away.
He held out his hand again. "Aw, come on, Alison. It'll be fun!" he insisted.
"The water's freezing!" I said.
"You don't know that." He stepped forward and dipped his foot into the water. "See? Not cold at all."
"You're wearing shoes."
"Exactly. And so are you. So it shouldn't be cold."
"Do you want me to get hypothermia?"
"Of course not." He smiled teasingly. "Then you'd have to stay home and I wouldn't get a ride to school."
I glared at him, crossing my arms. He laughed and put both of his hands on my shoulders.
"Relax," he soothed. "You don't have to get in if you don't want to."
I sighed through my nose. Thing is, I wanted to get in. I just wished the water didn't have to be so cold.
"Fine," I huffed, and then held up a finger when I saw Xavier grin. "But only for a little while."
"Aw, I knew you'd see it my way," he cooed.
"Shut up." I pushed passed him and stopped right in front of the water. I took my shoes off and tossed them a little ways away, taking my socks off after them.
"What are you doing?" Xavier asked, appearing beside me.
"I don't want my shoes to get wet," I replied. I started rolling up my jeans to my knees. "I'm only going in the shallow end, okay?"
"Okay…," he said in a way that made me think he was going to change that.
I tentatively stepped into the water and immediately jumped back, gasping at the icy feel of it.
"Go on," Xavier said, kicking off his own shoes. "It's not that bad."
I didn't respond. I took another step forward, forcing myself to keep my foot in longer. I shivered. Xavier laughed and jumped in with both of his feet, splashing me with the water. I slapped his arm and took another step.
Xavier's teeth were chattering, I could tell, but he didn't seem to care. He took another step, and then another, and another, until the water was almost up to his knees.
"Don't be a wuss," he said, turning to look at me. "Come on!"
I scowled. Nevertheless, I took a few more slow steps until I was standing right next to Xavier.
He reached down and cupped his hands under the water. He brought them back up, grinning, and dumped the contents on my head. I shrieked and jumped back. I stumbled, but didn't fall.
"Xavier!" I said, shuddering from the cold. I clenched my fists and glared at him.
He laughed. I reached my hand down and splashed him back.
That was the start of a full out water fight.
We went back and forth, Xavier getting the most fun out of it. I unintentionally went deeper into the water, way past the shallow end. I could barely register the cold.
We got soaked. We were waist deep in the water, just floating there. I was still cold, but it wasn't that bad. I'd gotten used to it about halfway through the water fight.
"Hey," I said to Xavier once we'd calmed down, a thought coming to my mind. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You just did."
I shot him a look. He smirked.
"Why are you still single?" I asked. I convinced myself I was only curious.
Xavier averted his eyes and looked out at the setting sun. I just watched him.
"I'm just…waiting for the right girl," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
"I thought you already found her," I pointed out.
"Yeah, but…" He sighed and turned to meet my eyes. If it wasn't so dark I would've sworn he looked nervous. "I'm not sure she likes me back."
"Who couldn't like you?" I exclaimed, moving closer to him. I nudged his arm and started swimming in circles around him. "You're the whole package – cute, fun, understanding."
I don't know what possessed me to say that.
Instead of the cocky remark I was expecting, Xavier smiled a genuine smile. "Thanks, Alison."
I flushed and just continued swimming.
We got out of the water a few minutes later, shivering our butts off. We ran to my car to take refuge.
"I blame you," I said, rubbing my arms to keep warm. It wasn't working.
"You had fun," Xavier retorted, turning on the heat in the car.
Aw, aren't they cute when they're in denial?
You learned a little bit about Ali's past. I hope that clears up some things!
Anyway, thanks for the reviews! Thanks times two if you review again! ;)
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